Monday, June 29, 2015

e-mail from 6-29-15

Dear Mom, Dad, Amanda, Blake, Bennett, Aaron, families and dear friends,

We got transfer calls this week, and I'll be staying H as District Leader, but Elder S will be leaving to go to Hfor the second time (he was there about a year ago). My new companion is Japanese! Elder M is fluent in English, but he prefers Japanese so no worries there.
A typical day.....well it basically involves a lot of stress! Recently, we've started waking up at 6 to go running with an investigator who wanted to up his motivation to be proactive. We do preparation until 8, study personally (I've been studying a lot from Preach My Gospel and both the Book of Mormon and the Bible recently), study as a companionship (we have lots of discussing time as well as practicing how to deal with situations), study Japanese (I kind of hit a wall recently, but I changed some of my study habits and it's improving again), then we eat lunch and depart. As stressful as it is some days to go outside and face the world, I have grown to love it! Those 5 and 6 hours days of simply talking, teaching, testifying, and seeing God's hand guide the work is the single most fulfilling thing I've ever done in my life. We always walk on the streets, saying hello to every single person we see, and talking to a ton of people from successful business men, to kids on their way to school. Actually, the church is right next to an elementary school, and I feel like every single one of those kids is like my little brother or sister. They have such a pure view of the world and an openness that is so refreshing. They are a special treasure here! We eat dinner around 5, go back out, and usually come back and call people on the phone or email for a half an hour until 9. Then we plan, call some more people, talk, and prepare for whatever comes tomorrow.

From hearing all of your thoughts and reading all the emails, I am so amazed by God's hand in everything that happens. The gathering of Israel is happening right before our eyes, and I get to see my best friends and family changing right in front of me! There are so many pure and good people out there, and I hope that they know that there is hope in the kingdom of God on the earth today. God can truly turn us into soldiers of light and truth, into angels sent to help others, if we just let Him into our lives.

Love you all with all my heart,
Elder Christensen

Monday, June 22, 2015

E-mail from June 22, 2015

Dear Dad, Mom, Amanda, Blake, Bennett, Aaron, and every one else whose
name's I would write if I knew all of them!

With the last several weeks passing, we've ended up with a very small
teaching pool and a long list of people who still need time, love, and
our service. It's been difficult to find those people who are really
wanting to make the commitment to learn more about Christ and test out
our message. It's pretty incredible how busy people make themselves
with work, and as frustrating as it is to be told that they would meet
if they had time, I have to give them props for giving everything they
have for their family and their dreams.
I really don't have much to share this week except my own personal
witness that God knows each of us deeply and personally. He knows all
that we struggle with and all that we are good at, all that we want
and all that we dislike. He knows exactly what He wants us to be and
if we are willing to trust Him, I know with all my heart that even if
we are simple fishermen now, we will become fearless, wise, kind, pure
servants, able to endure all things.
Love, Elder Christensen

Monday, June 15, 2015

e-mail from June 15, 2015

Thank you Mom for being my mother, my supporter, and friend and for being with Dad and teaching me ropes for my own long journey on this life! I actually needed a few cheers, to be honest. I've a had a couple Nephi 4 
like moments where I read a talk by Elder Holland or another apostle and feel the Spirit so strongly, but then struggle to bear that powerful testimony of the Savior or of the restored church
  It is a very confusing world we live in! And for the honest seeker of truth, there are many many conflicting voices of "lo hear and lo there!" (Joseph Smith History) to give enough confusion to go around.
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There are so many things in this world that just make you stand there, scratch your head and wonder what the heck went wrong! It's just plain crazy and I don't even watch the new or read the newspaper right now!

My only hope is that in the midst of all these "wars of opinions" that i can still feel love and rely on the Spirit to let people know that what we are sharing is not only true, but is the foundation for learning all truth. Continuing revelation from God, sought humbly in prayer and study, is the foundation for learning the things of greatest importance and truth. 

Seek the Spirit in everything you do. Trust it. Follow it. And go about doing good! 
If all else fails, love everyone you can! We may not be perfect, but we can at least be perfect in never giving up!
Love you beautiful people! 
Elder Christensen


Monday, June 8, 2015

E-mail from June 8, 2015

Dear Mom, Dad, Amanda, Blake, Bennett, Aaron, and everyone all over the world,

Congrats to Isabella and Bryce! College is truly a place to branch out test all the things that you've learned up to this point as well as prepare for even greater things!
's strange that Alex is already married, but I guess that's the life of a missionary! The world never stops!

Our investigator is golden! So golden that he doesn't even need to be baptized! In fact, he was already baptized about 25 years ago! 
That was our twist for this week and a confirmation to me that God does in fact have a sense of humor. Who knew that we had in our efforts met a man who was actually a member the whole time?! I don't know why he doesn't know more about the church or what happened in 25 years of history, but I don't think I care too much about that right now. A sheep is a sheep no matter how lost they are, and this week a precious sheep, a dear friend, was reminded of who he truly is and his potential as a Son of God. 
I often find myself wondering if we all understand the significance of being children of God! If it is true, and I have received a personal witness many times that it is, then we have been promised unbelievable treasures as our divine inheritance. If we are simply humble enough to not only acknowledge His existence, but His relevance in our lives, the simple joys of knowing our Father and having a relationship with him, as well as strength beyond our own, will be freely given. He isn't irrelevant or a fairy tale meant to keep children or the weak of mind in line. Why would we say we don't need Him in our lives? It's true that millions of people currently live and have lived without openly acknowledging the existence of God, but I plead with all of you with my whole heart, my whole soul, with every piece of my entire being, to not spend life claiming you can do it on your own and robbing yourself of a lifetime and an eternity of the most loving, caring, and understanding friend, mentor, and supporter this existence has to offer. He is there and oh, how we do need him. Of this I testify, not as a self-exalted saint, but as a once prideful (well I still am) person who has realized that there is nothing of greater worth than the gospel of Jesus Christ restored in modern times in its fullness for the benefit of all those who honestly seek after the truth.

I really do love each and every one of you with all my heart!
Elder Christensen

Monday, June 1, 2015

June 1, 2015 feeling earthquakes

Dear Family,
The miracles this week came from so many different places and
strengthened my testimony that diligent love, patience, and faith can
lead to the greatest miracle of all, the miracle of a changed heart.
We often spend so much time looking for Moses to split the seas,
Elijah to call down fire, Joshua to call down the walls of Jericho,
that we miss the more subtle evidences of God's love and power, the
power of the Holy Ghost. Wow, it is truly the most powerful force in
this world, and what's even more incredible is that God has given it
as a gift to those who humbly choose to follow His will in all things,
enter the waters of baptism, and are confirmed members His restored
church and take upon them His name.
Over the last two transfers my companions and, particularly, I have
felt weighed down with the burden of trying and trying to get
something moving here in H, but there always seemed to be the
problem of people and their agency. Who knew at such an amazing gift
could be so frustrating?! We just could not get on the same page with
people, and it was very, very, very, very tempting to throw up our
hands and throw in the towel. However, God had a different plan in
store, and I know without a doubt that he was preparing both my heart
and the hearts of those around us for the moment when we were all
ready to hear fully what he had to say and do willingly what he wanted
us to do.
It isn't perfect by any means, but it is the miracle of change. Our
friend, K, who we met last week and read the Book of Mormon with, came to church yesterday and agreed to set a baptismal date the next time we meet. The ward simply couldn't believe what was
happening, and the hope and love in their eyes was clearly visible.
We are working with our other investigators although things are moving
a little slower there. Please keep them in your prayers, especially
that they will have the faith to continue to keep commitments and meet
with the missionaries.
Way to go Logan! I'm looking forward to seeing you in one more year!
We actually felt the earthquake while we were playing ping pong on
Saturday with a friend at the church. It was pretty strong, but
nothing too dangerous!

Way to go Braden! It's been a while, but it sounds like you p've grown
up quite a bit! Keep it going, and I look forward to hearing great
things in the future.

Prayer is real and when offered in purity and sincerity of heart, it
is one of the most humbling experiences this life has to offer. How
could a loving Father refuse the simple and searching desires of one
of His beloved children? Whether it's been 1 day or 10 years, take
some time this week and ask Him what he would have you do.

Elder Christensen